“Vacuum & Atmoshere Services” (VAS) UK Continues to Grow at a Frantic Pace

​My does this UK provider of heat treatment furnace support continue to grow at an amazing pace. According to this press release the company has agreed to work with German furnace builder “Nabertherm” and quickly landed an order from Sigma Precison Components for a new furnace system. Want to know the history of VAS and how large the company is in terms of annual sales? “The Monty Heat Treat News” did an exclusive profile on the company less than a year ago-this can be found further down. 

“Vacuum & Atmosphere Services (VAS), which has its base in Smethwick, West Midlands, will act as the UK and Ireland provider of after-care and other complementary services for the leading German manufacturer, which offers customers the widest range of high quality standard furnaces and customised solutions.

Nabertherm’s product range includes electrically-heated and gas-fired furnaces for laboratories and industry, all capable of operating at temperatures ranging between 30°C and 3000°C. Its furnaces are used for metals, ceramics, glass and other applications. From its HQ in Lilienthal, north Germany, Nabertherm’s engineering offer combines in-house manufacturing with individual project planning. Nabertherm produce standard furnaces through totailor-made thermal process systems with bespoke material handling and charging systems.

Nabertherm promote how their “state-of-the-art technology” improves temperature uniformity, energy efficiency, reliability and durability of systems “with the goal of enhancing competitive edge”. A trusted partner for leading brands, VAS was launched in 2000 by two engineers to offer vacuum and atmosphere furnace services and has progressed to offer the full service package for the heat treatment industry, ranging from bespoke new furnaces to spare parts. VAS will partner Nabertherm in offering their products and services to clients in the UK, complementing the German company’s network across Europe, China and the US.

VAS Managing Director Mike Long welcomed the opportunity to support Nabertherm. Mike said: “VAS will be working closely with Geoff Sargeson of Nabertherm UK to provide a comprehensive after care service, including servicing, repairs and refurbishment as well as calibration work and spare parts. “VAS have just secured an order for a new Nabertherm furnace for a UK customer, Sigma Precision Components based in Leicestershire. VAS will be assisting Nabertherm with the installation, the temperature uniformity survey and calibration.”

Employing 35 staff and providing furnace services for the likes of Mercedes, GE Power, Moog and Collins Aerospace, VAS is promoted as an engineering company run by engineers.”

“SEPTEMBER 2021; Vacuum & Atmosphere Services, Birmingham, UK

This past week part of “The Monty Heat Treat News” Team has been honored to be able to spend some time with Vacuum & Atmosphere Services of Birmingham, UK (VAS for short). The firm is the largest in the UK when it comes to servicing the thermal heat treatment industry and appears to know virtually every single company involved in the industry. https://www.vacat.co.uk/ 

Founded in 2000 the management team consists of 3 directors who have spent their entire working lives in the industry;  Mike Long, Nick Houghton and Ian Scott. The company has over 35 employees who are able to provide pretty well anything when it comes to vacuum and atmosphere heat treating, service, installation, repair, spare parts-VAS even has a substantial offering of rebuilt equipment.

While the focus is on service, repair and install VAS also has new offerings which include datalogging, control systems and new furnaces through their long term relationship with Ipsen, Well worth mentioning also is the fact that the company has an interest in two other companies in the UK both dedicated to selling and servicing vacuum pumps, Vacuum Pump Services Ltd and VPSN Ltd.

Pre COVD sales were in excess of 5.4 million British pounds (roughly $7.5 million USD) and while the company like most others suffered a setback Mike Long was rather proud to say that they are now almost back at pre COVID levels. We had the chance to ask Mike how the pandemic had affected the company and he had this very interesting comment; “we were extremely fortunate that just prior to the onset of COVID, we hired a full time Quality, Health & Safety Director, a fellow by the name of Andy Nisbet. Andy’s experience in health and safety proved to be an enormous asset to us when navigating the new health and safety regulations and improving quality throughout the business”.

And what does the future hold? VAS is very much a family business, a business which includes Mike’s two sons Aaron and James who both work full time in the business. With their strong growth pattern, close family ties and an agreed succession plan in place, we expect the company to continue to grow and prosper in the future.

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Mike Oldham, Nick Houghton, Mike Long, Aaron Long, Greg Walker